When is a window not a window?

Arti was in NYC for a week in September.

It was Friday afternoon free admission time when hundreds lined up several city blocks to get into MoMA, Museum of Modern Art. Once in there, it was like inside the Tower of Babel (not that Arti had been there), but just imagine the whole world had converged in this space, all kinds of languages were heard.

After visiting MoMA, some questions came to mind. Here are the Q & A’s. (Photos were allowed. The following were all taken using the iPhone 6)

When is a window not a window?

When it’s encased in plexiglass, with the name Marcel Duchamp placed beside it, declaring it to be an objet d’art. Dada-di, Dada-dum…

Not a window.jpg

Or, when is a spider an objet d’admiration, something larger than life?

When it evokes a Kafkaesque vision:

Giant Spider 1

Spider

And why is the arachnid a double-edged sword?

Well, the artist Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) saw it as a friend when it captured bothersome mosquitoes in her Connecticut country home. As well, Bourgeois also saw it as a symbol of her mother. Wait, not in looks or nature, but in the work that they do. Her mother was a tapestry restorer. Bourgeois saw sewing and spinning web to be a similar form of action.

How do you take a good photo when there are crowds everywhere? A bit similar as how to get to Carnegie Hall, patience, patience, patience. The following are the before and after effects at Monet’s Lily Ponds:

Crowds.jpg

Monet's Water Lilies 1.jpg

What’s the major excitement of the whole experience? The ecstasy of seeing some famous artworks unexpectedly, ones that Arti had never thought she’d see in real life.

Christina’s World (1948) by Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009). And what is the blue patch in the middle? Arti’s watermark.

Christina's World.jpg

The only Edward Hopper (1882-1967) at MoMA, Gas (1940). As an avid bird watcher, Arti of course would have loved to see Nighthawks but Gas would do, for the serendipity.

Gas

And glad to see Paul Cézanne’s (1839-1906) healthy diet:

Healthy diet

Ta-da! This is probably one of the most compelling reasons for many to visit MoMA, van Gogh’s The Starry Night (1889):

Starry Night

Which was the most memorable for Arti?

Jackson Pollack.jpg

One: Number 31, 1950 (1950) by Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)

Never thought it was so big, 8′ 10″ x 17′ 5 5/8″ (269.5 x 530.8 cm). No easy dripping.

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A few related posts on Ripple Effects:

Arles: In the Steps of van Gogh 

Inspired by Vermeer

Edward Hopper, William Safire, the Visual and the Word

Alex Colville and the Movies

Art and Cliché

Inspired by Vermeer

I’m just having so much fun discovering the immense influence of Vermeer on his posterior that I must post some more.  Here are a few interesting samples that I’ve found.

Holland has long been renowned for its natural light, and Vermeer has long been credited with his keen sensitivity in capturing that.  Here’s his View of Delft (ca. 1660),  which Marcel Proust called “the most beautiful painting in the world”:

Vermeer View of Delft

Visiting the Netherlands in 1886, Claude Monet adopted Vermeer’s point of view in observing the light of Holland in his painting of tulip fields and a farmhouse near Leiden:

Monet Tulip Fields near Leiden, Netherlands

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Look at this famous Vermeer painting entitled Woman in Blue (ca. 1663):

Vermeer Woman in Blue

Van Gogh commented in 1888 on the exquisite artistry of Vermeer’s colors in the painting, “…blue, lemon-yellow, pearl-gray, black and white… the whole gamut of colors.”   He must have really liked Vermeer’s palette:

Van Gogh Self Portrait at Easel

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Vermeer loved his subjects by the window.  Here’s another well known painting Girl Reading A Letter At An Open Window (1658), and below, Salvador Dali’s parody, homage, to Vermeer’s signature pose entitled Disappearing Image (1938).  Like Hitchcock, Dali liked to put himself in the picture:

Vermeer Girl Reading A Letter By The Window

Dali The Image Disappears

Tom Hunter Woman Reading A Possession Order

Now here’s a more contemporary example.  UK artist Tom Hunter, the first photographer to have a one-man show at the National Gallery of London, won the Kobal Photographic Portrait Award in 1998 with this poignant picture of a squatter, entitled Woman Reading a Possession Letter:

How about this from American realist painter Edward Hopper, Morning Sun (1952):

Edward Hopper Morning Sun

(For more Edward Hopper, Click Here.)

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Director Peter Weir has created some ‘Vermeer scenes’ in his highly acclaimed 1985 movie ‘Witness’, with Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis.  I can’t find pictures of the scene where the young Amish woman Rachel Lapp (McGillis) tending the wounded detective John Book (Ford) in the attic of her Amish house.  That is signature Vermeer.  But this one by the window can give you a glimpse.  Look at the contrast between the light and shadow on the two characters, the innocent and cloistered Rachel Lapp and the street-smart and gun wielding John Book:

Witness Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis

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And last but not least, Vermeer’s inspiration on modern packaging and product design.  Click here to read more about it.

Vermeer inspired Dutch Chocolate Cream Liquer

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Related Posts:

Vermeer in Vancouver: Noticing the Obvious

Girl With A Pearl Earring

Edward Hopper, William Safire: The Visual and the Word.

Arles: In the Steps of Van Gogh

The Letters of Van Gogh

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Sources and links:  All Vermeer paintings, Click here to go to Essential VermeerClick here to Tom Hunter Website. Click here to Webmuseum for Edward Hopper. Click here to Van Gogh Gallery. Click here to Metmuseum for Monet’s Tulip Fields near Leiden.